Trump blasted for 'anti-Semitism' after calling Jewish Democrats 'traitors'

Trump blasted for 'anti-Semitic' comments after accusing Jewish-Democrats of being 'traitors' for criticism of Israel
2 min read
21 August, 2019
US President Donald Trump has accused American Jews who vote Democrats of lacking knowledge and loyalty.
Trump has been blasted for anti-Semitsim [Getty]
US President Donald Trump has been accused of making a borderline anti-Semitic comment by saying Jewish people who vote for the rival Democratic Party lack "knowledge" and "loyalty".

Speaking to media in the Oval Office about the Israeli ban of first two Muslim congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, Trump smeared the non-violent Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement.

"Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this - even three years ago -- of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people - I can't believe we're even having this conversation," Trump said. 

In what analysts perceive as Trump trying to create divisions in the Democratic Party over Omar and Tlaib's critical comments of Israel.

"Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they're defending these two people over the State of Israel?" 

One of the most vocal critics of Trump is Jewish candidate for president Bernie Sanders, who has defended Tlaib and Omar after they were barred from entering Israel due to their support of the BDS boycott movement.

Read also: The Palestine Brief: How Israel shot itself in the foot by banning Omar and Tlaib

Trump then went on to directly attack Jews who are critical towards the boycott movement against Israel.

"I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat - it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty."

A number of Jewish American groups criticised Trump for his comments.

"It's unclear who @POTUS is claiming Jews would be 'disloyal' to, but charges of disloyalty have long been used 
to attack Jews. As we've said before, it's possible to engage in the democratic process without these claims. It's long overdue to stop using Jews as a political football," said Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who is of Jewish-Iranian descent.

"Trump repeating anti-Semitic tropes, emboldening hate groups, & using anti-Semitism for political purposes make us less secure", said the Jewish Democratic Council of America in a tweet.

"Today’s remarks are another example of him weaponizing & politicizing anti-Semitism for perceived political gain. It won’t work", they added.

US-based advocacy group Jewish Voices for Peace has consistently called for differenciating between anti-Semitism and being critical of Israel's brutal policies.

"At times like this, it is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to or prejudice against Jews on the one hand and legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other", the group said in a press statement last month.